Short summary - Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage in Human Consciousness - Frederic Laloux

French literature summaries - 2021

Short summary - Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage in Human Consciousness
Frederic Laloux


Are you sure that the bureaucratic hierarchy is the only form of organization, and the truth "you are the boss, I am a fool" is true at all times? Are you tired of politics and mindless labor? Are you looking for a way to organize your business differently? So that everyone finds a role and everyone is happy in it, and you don't have to waste precious time on petty control and prodding.

In any case, this book is worth reading, as it is a completely new look at what we all used to consider eternal and unshakable. To build an organization.

The author believes that it is possible to create organizations free of pathology, politics, bureaucracy, stress and apathy. He reinvented the organization, created a model that makes people work productive and meaningful, where talents flourish and callings come true!

And all this is not only in theory. The new paradigm has many followers, these are companies of all sizes and different industries, but they all have one thing in common - the level of development of the owner who does not want (and cannot) put up with the outdated order of organization.

Sammari of the book "Reinventing Organizations" was written by one of them - the owner of the Hipway company, thinking outside the box, Mikhail Rader. At the end of the summari, in the form of a conclusion, he talks about his experience and the results of introducing the new teal paradigm in his organization.

What your organization should be like - to maintain the rigid rational lines of orange, to be a warm, friendly, but not always effective green family, or to move to a new, second level of development and build a company of the future (teal colors) - it's up to you.

Part 1.

Historical perspective

Recently, the development of consciousness has been going faster and faster exponentially. Never before have we seen so many organizational paradigms co-exist. If the trend continues, during our lifetime we may see the birth and formation of one or two more levels of consciousness development and the corresponding organizational paradigms.

It is important to understand that these paradigms do not replace each other, but expand beyond the previous level, that is, each subsequent level includes all the previous ones.

What makes a person go beyond the current paradigm? Research shows that this vertical growth is due to the confrontation with a problem that cannot be solved within the old paradigm. You cannot force a person to move to a new level, but you can create an environment that will facilitate this, making the old paradigm less effective.

At the same time, the leaders of the organization largely set the rules of the game, so the organization can never go beyond its leaders. They can pull the entire organization down or up - to their understanding and level of development.

Let's trace the evolution of human psychology and organizational paradigms based on Ken Wilber's Integral Theory. The stages of development are indicated by the successive colors of the rainbow.

1.1. Infrared - Reactive

100,000-50,000 BC BC. People live in small family communities / clans of no more than a few dozen people. When this number is exceeded, the clan begins to disintegrate. People are incapable of complex relationships. There is no leader and no division of labor.

1.2. Magenta - Magical

About 15,000 years ago. The emergence of several hundred tribes. Stronger ego, but still poor understanding of cause and effect relationships, as a result of which magical beliefs appear. The emergence of elders, shamans and rituals.

1.3. Red - Impulsive

About 10,000 years ago. Developed ego, the emergence of the first organizations. Differentiation of oneself and the surrounding world, the appearance of the fear of death.

The world is dangerous and you have to be strong. Strength is the main currency. If I am stronger, I can demand satisfaction of my needs; if I am weak, I must obey. The emotional spectrum is not very developed - needs are often expressed by hysteria and violence. Nevertheless, the strongest begins to control others and achieves a division of labor.

A red organization is a wolf pack or gang. The red organization will thrive in a harsh environment - civil war, uncontrolled state, prisons, bad city districts. The focus on immediate benefit prevents Red organizations from planning and building strategies and, accordingly, growing and achieving meaningful goals.

1.4. Amber - Conformist

Approximately 4000 years ago. When the amber level of development appears, significant shifts occur. There is an understanding of cause-and-effect relationships, the ability to predict the future. It becomes possible to look at the world from the point of view of another person, which gives an understanding of the feelings and characteristics of the perception of people.

This new understanding is both liberating and frightening. The amber ego needs stability, order, and predictability. Amber communities are highly stratified, with rigid social classes or castes. And today, many people find refuge in amber stability and fixed moral values. However, very often in such a society it is not very comfortable for individual social groups - women, untouchables, homosexuals, or just people with free thinking.

Amber Organization. The amber organization has two significant breakthroughs - planning and structure. This allows them to achieve goals unthinkable for the Red organizations. The pyramids and the Great Wall of China were built by amber organizations. The army, church, government agencies, schools are the amber organizations of today.

1.5. Orange (orange) - Achievement

The orange consciousness first appeared several hundred years ago, and the massive shift of Western society to the orange stage of development occurred after the Second World War.

Rejection of dogmatism in rules and morals. Efficiency replaces morality as the basis for decision making. This shift is driving innovation, entrepreneurship, and the industrial revolution. It took the orange mentality only a couple of hundred years to achieve unprecedented levels of technology, prosperity and increased life expectancy.

But with all the positive shifts came the diseases of the orange mentality - corporate greed, political myopia, increased consumption and environmental degradation.

Nevertheless, the orange mentality gave man freedom for the first time. Everyone should be free to achieve their own goals, free from religious dogmas and predetermined social status. If Red was egocentric, Amber was ethnocentric, then Orange allows you to be "worldcentric."

Orange Organization. Most of today's global corporations are orange organizations. Their breakthroughs are innovation, responsibility and meritocracy. The ability to be critical of the status quo breeds innovation.

The amber system - "command and control" - is being replaced by the "predict and control" system, which allows distributing the decision-making function throughout the organization and leads to responsibility for making decisions of each member of the organization.

Meritocracy and freedom are necessary for the implementation of the first two achievements, but in itself it has become an important breakthrough, as a result of which every worker, sooner or later, really has the opportunity to become a CEO, if he shows excellent results at his own and subsequent levels.

At the same time, the system is not so ideal in reality. For top managers, the desire for control often wins trust, the process of budgeting and setting KPIs turns into a complex game, where a subordinate tries to underestimate KPIs, and a manager insists on unrealistic goals. In a mechanistic orange organization, innovation can be done for the sake of innovation, and KPIs can be fulfilled simply because they were set, and not because the organization or its stakeholders really need it.

1.6. Green - Pluralistic The

green level of consciousness considers the orange paradigm too simplistic. Life means more than success or failure. Multiple perspectives are taken into account, attention to the feelings of people is increased. Justice, equality, harmony, community, cooperation and consensus come to the fore.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, a small circle of people with a green level of consciousness took the lead in the changes - the abolition of slavery, the equality of women, the separation of church and state, freedom of religion and democracy. The breakthrough in green thinking began during the countercultural movement of the 60s and 70s. And if business still operates in the orange paradigm, then in science and non-profit organizations the green paradigm has become the leading one.

In a green mind, relationships are more important than results. And if the orange level continues to rule from top to bottom, then green tends to rule from the bottom up - collecting opinions and seeking consensus. This is where the main problem of this level stems - red egocentrism, amber definiteness and orange contempt for idealism will take advantage of the tendency of green thinking to find consensus, perceiving it as weakness, and sabotage its good intentions.

Green organizations do not like power and hierarchy. Ideally, they would give all employees the same shares in the business and the same influence and make all decisions by mass voting. The co-ops and hippie communes of the '60s made this a reality, but overall, this extremely peer-to-peer model was not successful on a meaningful scale. Nonetheless, green organizations have had important civilizational breakthroughs that have been successfully used in organizations with moderate idealism.

Common features of green organizations:

Transfer of influence and power. By retaining the meritocratic principles of the orange culture, green organizations have pulled down most of the decisions that can be made without the permission of senior management. The leaders of the organization not only share power and reduce control, but also become a service function. They listen to their subordinates, motivate and develop them. Managers are assessed on a 360-degree basis, making them accountable to their subordinates.

A culture based on values and inspiring goals. A strong, shared culture "glue" organizations together, preventing them from falling apart. Employees are trusted to make decisions based on shared values, rather than according to rules and policies. And this often yields unusually high results that are unattainable for their orange competitors.

Multi-stakeholder perspective. In the orange organization, the main perspective is the perspective of the shareholders. The main task of management is to maximize shareholder returns. In a green organization, there is no such hierarchy of stakeholders - shareholders, management, employees, suppliers, customers, local communities, society as a whole and the environment are important.

In general, the orange consciousness sees the organization as a machine, and the green one as a family.

1.7. New Level - Teal - The Evolutionary

Transition to teal is very significant. Maslow and many others believed that this transition marked the transition to the second level of thinking, while all the previous stages were in the first. The significant difference lies in the fact that all the previous stages considered their view of the world to be the only correct one, and the views of other stages were dangerous delusions. In teal, for the first time, people recognize the evolution of consciousness and understand what all the previous stages contain.